DULLES, Va. (WJZ) — A plane that left BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport Friday morning had to make an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport after a report of an odor.
Seven passengers were transported to area hospitals after a faint odor of fuel was reported in the cabin.
“From the moment we took off, we started to smell gas on the plane,” Frankie Lawrence, a passenger, said.
The Boeing 737 plane (flight 1675) was diverted from BWI and was en route to San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
From Chopper, you could see the plane being towed to another area of the airport. It was being followed by firetrucks.
United Airlines said in a statement to WJZ:
“United 1675 from Baltimore-Washington to San Francisco diverted to Washington Dulles because a strong odor in the cabin. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to a gate. Customers were immediately deplaned and evaluated by medical personnel. Several customers were transported to local hospitals. Customers will be rebooked on flights to San Francisco from Washington-Dulles.”
Four passengers were taken to Reston’s emergency room, but they were not admitted to the hospital.
One person was discharged and three are pending discharge.
Twitter user BarredinDC said his wife was taken to the hospital.
“Did not expect to be in a hospital this morning,” he tweeted. “Faint fuel smell was on plane before we departed and was quite strong while in air. Tons of firetrucks, about 20 people complaining of nausea, chest pains, headaches, anxiety attacks and/or trouble breathing.”
Jet fuel fumes in the passenger area of the plane were the source of the problems.
“The flight attendant came on and said, ‘You might not have heard what the pilot said, but we’re experiencing jet fuel fumes in the passenger area,'” Scott Seely, a passenger, said.
When the plane touchdown, first responders were on site to treat those suffering from chest pains, headaches and trouble breathing.
“It’s like you see in the movies,” Seely said. “As you’re coming down the runway as you land, you just see firetrucks on each side.”
There were no impacts on airport operations.